French and Malian forces take over gao and timbuktu, Choas followed
By Fayssal Khalfouni
Morocco News Tribune
Florida, U.S.A— The French and Malian military campaign successfully secured Sunday the historical cities of Gao and Timbuktu, north of the capital Bamako.
After 18 days of fight, the French and Malian forces pushed the Islamist militants out of the two cities of Gao and Timbuktu to the desert and started clearing the two cities off weapons and ammunitions.
1000 French paratroopers took over Timbuktu’s airport without a shot being fired. The capture of Gao cleared the ground for the takeover of the most important historical city of Timbuktu. The campaign forced the militants out of the cities toward the mountains and the open desert.
“Great Fire” of Timbuktu
Timbuktu, a UNESCO world heritage, suffered the most from the presence of the Islamist militants. The 10 month presence of militant on Timbuktu’s soil was behind the torching of its historical library. A number of historical manuscripts were lost, including ones written by famous Muslim scholars. The library contained over 160 manuscripts that belonged to the Malian Muslim Empire (13th century – 20th centuries), according to Reuters.
Promises of financial and military support
It is noteworthy to mention that international donors promised $455 million, which would be used to finance the deployment of 8000 African troops. African leaders gathered at the African Union 20th Summit estimated that the deployment will cost $1 billion.